Embargo Period


Degree Name

MA in Humanitarian Assistance and Crisis Management

First Advisor

Bayan Abdulhaq


The international community has developed guidelines and standards for the maintenance of water and sanitation (WASH) in states from the end of the 20th century to present and have often been criticized for their lack of contextual adaptations in the standards that states are expected to implement universally. The research explored how international standards on WASH have applied decolonized methods of interventions to guide the development of culturally relevant national policies. Tanzania was chosen as a case study to conduct a comprehensive review of the states’ integration of international standards within their policies through a decolonial perspective. The study included a review of WASH policies through the development of codes and thematic trackers throughout the standards and policies, in addition to interviews with key informants. The research found patterns across the international standards in recommending guidelines with the provision that the practices should be adjusted according to the cultural and contextual framework within the implementing community. Gender issues are also highlighted throughout the standards, attempting to alleviate the harsher conditions women face due to societal structures. Tanzania was found to be a model state with strong policies and campaigns that incorporated international standards through culturally adjusted practices that focus on the behaviors of Tanzanian communities. This research contributes a greater understanding to the field of the necessity for international organizations to utilize decolonized practices through recognizing cultural differences in aid projects, and to highlight how a state can successfully incorporate the standards from the international community.

Keywords: water, sanitation, hygiene, WASH, African studies, decolonization, humanitarian assistance, international policy


African Studies | International Relations | Organization Development | Women's Studies


Image Location